Toquilla straw headwear or Panama hats are finely woven, light-colored, and breathable from straw palm plants. Their lightweight, attractive shape and visibility make them a practical and fashionable choice for hot and sunny weather. They are suitable for women and men and are available in multiple colors and styles. As the name suggests, these hats come from natural fiber; you must understand the different dos and don’ts associated with their maintenance. However, these hats are also delicate and thus require special maintenance and handling. You must read the guide to learn about straw hats and the best ways to care for them.
- The emergence of the Panama hat
The very term Panama hat makes you feel that they come from Panama, but they emerged in Ecuador. Since the 1600s, they have come a long way and created their place in the fashion industry. The industry expanded, and steadily over the years, Panama hats and their different variants started positioning in the market. In the late 19th century, this hat gained immense popularity in the western world. If you go by the stories, you will see that in the 1830s, the gold miners used to wear Panama hats to protect themselves from danger. Since then, the working class has gained interest in Panama hats and used them regularly. Off late, Panama hats gained popularity in the western world and got photographed in different events, whether formal or informal.
Originally every Panama hat was hand woven. However, when their popularity grew, mass production of Panama hats started. Today, Panama hat makers use machines. These are available in different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. You can try out different varieties of Panama hats and steal the show for that unique modern look.
- Primary care of straw hats
There are a few general tips you must bear in mind when wearing straw hats. Remember that straw hats come from natural materials and thereby require special care. First and foremost, you have to avoid water. Straw hats protect from the sun but not rain. Hence, if the hat gets wet, it will result in undesirable consequences. The water might swell the material, and it will eventually lose shape. Thus, to avoid rotting, you must keep it away from moisture.
- Careful handling is the basic rule
If you are a frequent hat wearer, you will gradually notice that it is losing shape. It may be because of the way you hold it. When holding the hat, do it with an arm. Getting it from the pinch or front of the crown may result in straw breakage. If you want to flatten the brim, you may use the iron. Before doing so, you must go through the instructions on the label to ensure that the hat gets ironed appropriately. Please take note of the temperature setting and ensure that you play it safe. The lowest temperature is the best option because it will avoid burning if the hat is delicate.
- Rest it appropriately
When setting the straw hat on the table, you must turn it upside down. Place the hat on the surface but don’t pressurize the back or front of the headgear. When resting the hat, you have to do it by the crown.
Storage tips to follow
- When you store the headwear, ensure that it is in a dry and cool place. The fiber in the hats is susceptible to extreme temperature. Hence, you must ensure that you do not leave it in a hot spot, like the car or garden. Excessive heat might dry out and crack the fiber. Hence, your hat will look frayed. Store the hat in a clean and cool place. Put it on dry and dark shelves, or you can hang it on the hat racks.
- Never store the headwear in a humid space because the natural weave might become damp. It will rot the material, and the hat will lose its shape. In case the brim of the hat is curved, you may store it in hat boxes that keep it away from bugs and dust. These are available in different sizes, and thereby you can purchase these from online or offline means.
- Cleaning straw hats is not that hard. You may wipe it with a damp, clean cloth that will remove extra dust. You may also use neutral soap and detergent to clean the hat. Alternatively, you make the hat neat by using a soft bristle brush. It will remove the debris and dirt. Brush the hat regularly to prevent staining, dirt build-up, and discoloration. When you take care of your hat, you extend its lifetime. Hence, you will get the maximum benefit from these cleaning tips.
Remember that your hat expresses your sense of style and personality. Thus, if you want your hat to last long, you must be serious about these maintenance tips.